Al-Quds Day (يوم القدس) takes place every year on the last Friday of the month of Ramazan. Soon after the Islamic revolution in Iran, Imam Khomeini called on Muslims to dedicate this day to demanding the rights of oppressed Muslims around the world – particularly in Palestine. On this day, rallies are organised before Friday prayer to protest against the occupation of Palestine.
Since the end of Ramzan varies from country to country, if the last day of Ramzan falls on Friday or Saturday in Iran, Al-Quds day will be held the week before. In some countries, due to lack of police authorisation on Friday, the rally is made on another day or there is only permission for holding conferences on that day.
Since the occupation of Palestine began in 1948, most religious scholars have been demanding justice for the Palestinian people.
From the beginning of Iran’s revolution, Imam Khomeini stated that one of his goals was the liberation of Palestine from its occupant government. After the revolution, all official ties to Israel were severed and Israel’s embassy in Iran was granted to the Palestinians. When a new Israeli raid began on the south of Lebanon on Ramzan 13, 1399 AH (August 7, 1979), Imam Khomeini gave a speech in which he announced the last Friday of the month of Ramzan to be known as Al-Quds day:
“In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the Most Merciful. For many years, I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel which today has intensified its savage attacks against the Palestinian brothers and sisters, and which, in the south of Lebanon in particular, is continually bombing Palestinian homes in the hope of crushing the Palestinian struggle.
“I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters. I call on all the Muslims of the world to select as Al-Quds Day the last Friday in the holy month of Ramzan — which is itself a determining period and can also be the determiner of the Palestinian people’s fate — and through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims world-wide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people. I ask God Almighty for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels.”
On Al-Quds day, demonstrations are held around the world in over 80 Islamic and non-Islamic countries. Among these are Malaysia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Turkey, United States of America, Canada, Norway, Azerbaijan, Sudan, England, Bahrain, Bosnia, Tunisia, Pakistan, Australia, Germany, Romania, Kuwait, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Venezuela, Albania, Yemen and Greece.
Western news agencies generally attempt to play down the events of Al-Quds day. They either remain silent or use vague expressions such as ‘thousands’ to show that the number of protesters is not significant. Typically, a few sentences from the Iranian president’s speech are quoted out of context in order to give the impression that Israel is being oppressed.
Quds in Imam Khomeini’s speeches
Al-Quds day is an international day and it is not exclusive to Quds. It is the day of confronting the oppressed with the arrogant; it is the day of encountering the nations oppressed by America or else; it is a day for the oppressed to be prepared against the arrogant to defeat them.
Al-Quds Day is not only for Quds; it is the day for Islam; it is the day for Islamic government. It is the day in which the flag for Islamic government must be raised. It is the day in which, superpowers need to be taught that they can no longer advance in Islamic countries. I know Al-Quds day as the day of Islam and the day of the prophet (s); the day which we need to fully prepare ourselves and relieve Muslims from the isolation they are brought in so that they can stand against their enemies with all their power.
Al-Quds day is when we must warn all superpowers that Islam will no longer be controlled by you through your evil agents; Al-Quds day is the day of Islam’s life.
Al-Quds day is an Islamic day and is an Islamic public mobilisation. I hope it would be a prelude to [formation of] a party of the oppressed all over the world.
If the Islamic Ummah are not woken up to their duties, if Islamic scholars do not feel responsible and do not rise, if the true Islam which is the cause of unity and movement of all Islamic schools against the enemies and the guarantee of honor and independence of Muslim nations and Islamic countries is burned under the black screens of imperialism by the hands of the agents of the enemies, miserable days will be ahead of Islamic nations and destruction threatens Islam and rulings of the Quran.
It is strongly recommended and even obligatory that some of religious alms such as zakat and other types of charity are allocated to these fighters who fight for God in sufficient amount and helping them with all forces and facilities is obligatory.
Quds day in Ayatollah Khamenei’s speeches
What is important is that the world of Islam should not forget about the issue of Palestine… America, the arrogant powers and their ever supporters of Zionists have forced Muslims to forget the issue of Palestine but the Islamic Ummah and the Iranians should not allow the issue of Palestine to be forgotten.
This holy flame should be ignited inside Palestine as well more and more every day. Those youth, and those men and women, and those who sacrifice themselves and fight the usurper regime inside Palestine must know that the main point is what they press. That is where their enemy would defeat. That organisation outside Palestinian borders sit at the table of negotiations or show off in different tribunes in the name of Palestine would not solve any problem. General support of the Islamic world from outside and the real sensible fight of Palestinians inside will solve the problem and hit the head of the enemy to ground.
Commemorate Al-Quds day and if world propaganda does not broadcast it, it does not matter. Those Palestinian prisoners feel strengthened by your sincere intention and determination and will resist. The prisoner behind the walls of the prisons at the Occupied Palestine must not feel lonely to resist. Those men and women who are attacked by Zionist scum in alleys and streets of Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and other cities of the Occupied Palestine need to feel that you support them to resist. Of course, governments have some duties as well!
I frankly announce that every Palestinian who is martyred and every Palestinian family which is destroyed, the President of the United States and its government are associated with that act.
The issue of Palestine has only one solution and that is establishment of a Palestinian government in all the lands of Palestine.
Every inch of Palestine is an inch of Muslims’ house. Any government other than a Palestinian one and other than a Muslim one over Palestine is a usurper one. Our word is what Imam Khomeini said, Israel must be wiped away. It is not fighting with Jews. The issue is usurping house of Muslims.